Tony Adams held the Arsenal armband for six years – twice as long as any skipper since – but the former England international does not fancy the North Londoners’ chances in the Premier League next season.
Adams believes the Gunners will again struggle to compete for the title against Chelsea and Manchester City as well as a resurgent Manchester United. He did, however, point to the FA Cup win last month to end Arsenal’s nine-year trophy drought as a reason to remain optimistic perhaps but it seems the man himself isn’t quite so sure.
"The club came under criticism for not winning a trophy and I was one of them! It was important for them to win that," Adams is quoted in The Express.
"However I don't think they will win the title as Chelsea and Manchester City are blowing the league apart and Manchester United will come again.”
"I don't think Arsenal will finish any higher than 4th at the moment which is a little bit sad, but they needed to win the FA Cup because they had stick from the fans,” he added.
The FA Cup triumph at Wembley last month seemed to signify the end of an unfruitful era for the Gunners under French boss Arsene Wenger under whom Adams won two doubles in the Premier League and the FA Cup in both 1997/98 and 2001/02 before he retired at the end of the season.
Now, however, perhaps Adams is speaking too soon – Arsenal have finally shaken off the shackles of yesteryear and are in a remarkably healthy situation financially. Reports that Arsene Wenger, who has agreed to stay on another three years at the Emirates, could be handed up to £100 million to spend this summer which would be double the most they have ever spent in a single window to date.
That kind of outlay could surely bring in some additional talent to improve the team and add strength in depth to the squad – this was a team, let’s not forget, that occupied the top position in the league for 127 days of this season, longer than any other team, and went on to lift the FA Cup.